Basic Bible tool

This free Bible download has lots of extras, for a small fee.

BiblePro from BibleOcean is a free software Bible with interactive features that make it a fine study tool. You can add a raft of extras, such as Bible editions, maps, illustrations, numerous commentaries, and other resources by what was claimed to be an additional free download. However, we discovered that it requires a "donation" to download the "free CD" and other extras.

When we installed and opened BiblePro, a pop-up let us enter our e-mail address to activate the program's free registration, which entitles users to perpetual free updates. The Word-style interface opened with Genesis displayed in the main window in two tabs, one for American Standard Version and another for the King James Version. A left-hand tree view displayed expandable chapter headings, while two panels below offered References and Commentaries, each tabbed with numerous entries, including well-known reference texts. Unfortunately, whenever we toggled between the ASV and KJV tabs, three tabs with ad links would open in our browser; apparently, the for-pay download alleviates this annoyance. We clicked Book Library, which offered the same download link. We tried the Maps button; again, we were offered a chance to buy something. Visual Bible Study, iPod and Android; it seemed whatever we tried on the toolbar led to an empty entry, a new browser tab or three, and the opportunity to use Paypal. The download includes WebBible, a link to an online version that offers more features, albeit in an ad-supported online format.

We don't object to a modular approach in software or to additional features that cost money, but we think BibleOcean should be more up front about what's free and what isn't. While none of the requested donations was more than a few dollars, software is either free or it isn't. Still, the basic BiblePro download is free and offers a lot, and the online version includes some extras. For many users, it may be more than enough.

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